Connect with us

Player News

Dak Prescott Probably Isn’t the Future

I don’t blame you for getting excited about the Cowboys’ drafting of quarterback Dak Prescott. It had been seven years since the Cowboys spent any draft pick on the position, going back to Stephen McGee in 2009. With rising concern about Tony Romo’s longevity, any addition of new talent at quarterback was a welcome sight. However, we really need to check our enthusiasm. Like McGee before him, Prescott is just a fourth-round pick.

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Cowboys Headlines - Dak Prescott Probably Isn't the Future

I don’t blame you for getting excited about the Cowboys’ drafting of quarterback Dak Prescott. It had been seven years since the Cowboys spent any draft pick on the position, going back to Stephen McGee in 2009. With rising concern about Tony Romo‘s longevity, any addition of new talent at quarterback was a welcome sight.

Cowboys Draft - Cowboys Should be Happy to "Settle" for Dak Prescott 1However, we really need to check our enthusiasm. Like McGee before him, Prescott is just a fourth-round pick. You go back 20 years and see that most fourth-round quarterbacks don’t end up any better than McGee did. Those that do hardly became franchise players; mostly career backups and just a couple of decent starters.

The majority end up out of the league in just a few years, many never earning a second contract and some never even seeing the end of their rookie deal. Here’s a look at every fourth-round quarterback taken from 1996-2012:

SUCCESSES BACKUPS FAILURES
1999 – Aaron Brooks
2002 – David Garrard
2005 – Kyle Orton
2012 – Kirk Cousins
1996 – Danny Kanell
1997 – Danny Wuerffel
2001 – Sage Rosenfels
2001 – Chris Weinke
2003 – Seneca Wallace
2004 – Luke McCown
1996 – Jeff Lewis
1997 – Pat Barnes
1999 – Joe Germaine
2001 – Jesse Palmer
2002 – Rohan Davey
2005 – Stefan LeFors
2009 – Stephen McGee
2010 – Mike Kafka

 

It’s a little early to label the guys taken after 2012, since many of them have yet to ever hit free agency or get much opportunity to develop. However, this list is hardly inspiring: Tom Savage. Logan Thomas, Landry Jones, Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley, and Bryce Petty. I don’t see too many Pro Bowl coming out of that group. Hell, I’ll be surprised if any of them ever earn starting jobs.

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft Class: The Power Of 4

Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Even if Prescott manages to be a rare fourth-round success, check out those four guys again. Would you really want any of them as your starting quarterback? Brooks and Orton had solid years but plenty of weaknesses. Garrard was the best of the group and even made a Pro Bowl, but he was hardly an elite player. As for Cousins, Washington was too scared to commit long-term and gave him the franchise tag.

I know what you’re thinking; “Where a guy gets drafted doesn’t matter! Anyone has a chance to become a star!”

You’re absolutely right, of course. We live in a post-Tom Brady and Tony Romo world that allows for you to dream about a quarterback’s potential regardless of where he was drafted, or if he was even drafted at all. But nevertheless, let’s not delude ourselves.

Cowboys Headlines - Dak Prescott Probably Isn't the Future 1

Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The “chance” of a rookie quarterback becoming a star, as proven over decades of drafting, drops with every round. Even though they can certainly be wrong at times, scouts ultimately know what they’re doing and guys get drafted high or low based on their perceived talent and potential. Some may slip through the cracks, but that table above shows you just how spot-on the scouts usually are.

That’s why we have to measure our expectations. If Prescott becomes a solid career backup then he’s already done better than the majority of fourth-round quarterbacks. Anything beyond that puts him in rare company.

If he’s the next in line from Staubach to Aikman to Romo, then that means he’s the best fourth-round quarterback since at least Rich Gannon in 1987 or even Joe Theismann in 1971.

In other words, don’t hold your breath.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I’ll be sure to respond!

Advertisement
14 Comments
  • Brent

    I have been watching the draft since the 80's. I have been studying players for the draft since the 90's. I look at highlights of the players, combine footage and watch the Senior Bowl repeatedly. I did not like any of the players that have been listed as previous 4th round picks. I do however like Dak Prescott. He is a leader that gets the job done but has the talent as well. I believe his being a 4th round pick had more to do with other needs teams have. How many teams this year absolutely needed a QB? Drafting a QB is a crap shoot Rounds 1 through the undrafted. A lot depends on the situation they go to, the players they're surrounded with and the coaching. Dallas was the best place Dak could have landed and I am excited. Yes, I would have taken Carson Wentz, Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch but I believe the Cowboys played this draft well and and am glad we had a little luck missing out on Connor Cook as I was not that impressed. I do realize that Dak still has a ways to go and Romo is our best chance for the next few years. But it's okay to be excited the Dak fell into our laps when he did. Of course, this is just one Cowboys fan and draft geek's opinion. Thanks for listening.

  • Ashley Robinson

    What round was Tony Romo drafted again?

  • Keith

    Tom Brady was a sixth round pick. Tony Romo was an undrafted free agent. Russell Wilson was taken just one round earlier and he already has a Super Bowl ring. (And a crushing Super Bowl defeat.) True, the odds are not great that Dak will be a franchise quarterback. The reality is each situation and player is unique. I suggest we see how Dak does on the field this preseason before we start making any pronouncements on his future.

    • Jess Haynie

      I'll be delighted for Dak to go against history. But until we do see him on the field, all we have to go by is precedent. And clearly, it speaks pretty loudly against him. Thanks for reading.

  • Jess Haynie

    I'm excited that you're excited, Brent. I guess my biggest concern is that guys like Cook and Hackenburg weren't getting people very excited and yet they still went ahead of Prescott. Heck, we even know that Dallas was trying to move up for Cook before they ultimately took Dak. Just cause for concern.

  • Jess Haynie

    Yes, Romo and Brady. Pretty sure I addressed them in the article. That's two players out of 20 years of drafting. Really want to put your eggs in that basket?

  • Randy Martin

    Jess your such a Debbie Downer dashing the hopes of Cowboy fandom! Yeah choosing a franchise QB in the 4th round is a bit like getting lightning in a bottle but it can happen. Yes we should certainly temper our enthusiasm but I'd like to see a training camp and pre-season and more before leaping to this conclusion based strictly on draft position. Dang it, if we had only drafted him in the first round then he would have been the franchise QB we are looking for!

    • Jess Haynie

      The crazy thing is that first-round guys are about a 50/50 proposition, too. The only difference there is that the guys who do work out usually end up being way better than the likes of Aaron Brooks and Kyle Orton. Obviously, I want for Prescott to be the next big thing. It would be delightful. I just felt the need to remind everyone of how incredibly rare that is based on where he was drafted.

  • Robert

    I agree with Jesse

  • Rick

    What an ignorant article. Clearly knows nothing about football

    • http://www.PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      Hope you saw the date the article was written. Also hope you actually read it to see the point I was making.

      I LOVE that Dak looks like he may beat the odds! Still, doesn’t change the history that he’s overcoming.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      What an ignorant comment. You obviously didn’t read the article before commenting on it. Eagles fan?

  • Monica Smith Edwards

    looking forward to reading your future article where you fully address the plate of crow sitting on your dinner table. #DakAttack if you had watched ANY film of Dak during his 4 years as a record breaking QB where he took a ho hum Mississippi State football team all the way to #1 in the polls, you would have written a different article. one that marveled at the luck of the Cowboys to pick up this gem of a QB in the 4th round. #WeBelieve #HAILSTATE #SaturdaytoSunday #DaksmyQuarterback #PutaStarOnIt

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      haha Touché.

Player News

Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

Sean Martin

Published

on

Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

The Cowboys have just one more game to get through without their star running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Alfred Morris and Rod Smith deserve a ton of credit for the way they’ve been able to fill in out of the backfield for Zeke Elliott. Throughout the time Elliott has missed though, the Cowboys have lacked the explosive plays on offense that he can provide – until Rod Smith was given an opportunity last week at the Giants.

Smith complimented Morris exceptionally well, running with quickness and power to prove his case for more of a role on offense behind Elliott moving forward. It was the Ohio State product’s consecutive touchdowns of 81 yards through the air and 15 yards on the ground that sealed the game for the Cowboys in week 14.

Here is a closer look at Rod Smith’s performance from last week in this latest Sean’s Scout.

Smith3 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

The Cowboys offensive line was dominant as always against a tough New York defensive front, and this first play is a great look at their execution in space and on the move. Rod Smith’s decisiveness when hitting the hole with speed and balance was the first thing I noticed on the game tape.

The best thing Smith does on this play comes at the second level, where running backs can truly make a difference in Dallas. As RG Zack Martin rides his man out of the play entirely, he gets in front of Smith who is seeing the play develop straight ahead. With his long strides, Smith is able to smoothly get through traffic and continue accelerating up field through arm tackles for a big gain.

Smith2 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

These same traits are seen with Rod Smith as a pass catcher – something he does effortlessly to also help fill the void left by Elliott. Watch how quickly Smith commits to his angle up the field after catching this dump pass from Dak Prescott, attacking a defender that has the angle on him after the catch.

Rod subtly leans to the right just enough to make the defender hesitate long enough to allow his burst to evade him and gain extra yards falling forward.

Smith4 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

Smith essentially does the same thing without the ball in his hands here, on his 81 yard catch and run for a touchdown. Setting up the safety out of the slot to be beat across his face, Smith separates from him at the stem and then does a great job getting depth on his route into the vacated middle of the field. With blockers to help him reach the end zone, Smith turns this busted coverage by the Giants into the game’s biggest play.

Smith1 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

 

This last play I chose to show is probably the least well-blocked attempt for Smith out of the ones in this Sean’s Scout, but there is still a lot to like about what Rod does here with the ball in his hands.

The Giants might be a two-win football team, but they still have marquee players up front, particularly DE Olivier Vernon. Smith does well here to keep his feet moving as he cuts this play to the backside. Vernon does well to limit the potential gain on this play by staying away from the block of Jason Witten, as Smith is taken down by Darian Thompson.

The numbers the Giants had to commit to stopping the run was still a huge reason why Prescott had a career day throwing the football, and Rod Smith’s readiness to step in at RB was a deciding factor in getting Dallas to 7-6.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Proving to be one of the Dallas Cowboys most valuable players, considering his cost (under contract through 2018), and ability to contribute on special teams and offense, Rod Smith is the perfect RB3 for this team.

Smith is not elite in any one area, and is not a prototypical RB from a physical standpoint, but his contributions as a runner, pass catcher, and blocker could remain critical to the Cowboys’ hopes of reaching the playoffs behind this offense – even when Ezekiel Elliott is back in the fold.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Player News

La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

Published

on

La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Player News

Cowboys’ DE DeMarcus Lawrence Fed Up With NFL Officiating

Brian Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team? 2

The Dallas Cowboys were able to come away with a 30-10 victory over the New York Giants Sunday afternoon in what was described as a must-win situation in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Typically, when these two teams square off against one another there are sure to be some kind of fireworks in the ballgame, but the final volley of explosions didn’t go off until after the completion of the game during an interview with DeMarcus Lawrence.

DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t hold back in his post game interview, especially in regard to the NFL officiating. He let his frustrations known that he is fed up and that he’s not going to take it anymore. At least not quietly that is.

Lawrence, the NFL’s sack leader, ripped the officiating crew after the Giants game Sunday afternoon for not calling any holding penalties. There was actually one holding penalty called against the Giants, but the point Lawrence was trying to make still rings true.

Joe Trahan on Twitter

Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence goes on an explosive rant about officiating, in particular, a lack of holding calls by linemen against him. And yes, Lawrence realizes he a fine is coming, whether he’s got a point, or not. And yes, he probably does. https://t.co/UU51xQi05p

DeMarcus Lawrence certainly has a right to be mad and I don’t blame him at all for voicing his frustrations about the lack of holding calls against opposing offensive lineman. This actually adds more fuel to the fire that there is indeed an officiating conspiracy against the Cowboys.

In fact, you may or may not be surprised to learn that there have only been two holding penalties called on Cowboys’ opponents in the last 10 games, including the one against the Giants Sunday afternoon. For comparison sake, the Cowboys offensive line have been flagged 18 times during that time span.

It’s gotta be a coincidence, right? Maybe, maybe not. But, one thing is for sure… DeMarcus Lawrence has had enough!

Of course, Lawrence’s outburst will surely earn him a fine from the NFL, but it may be worth it if it draws more attention to the poor officiating the Cowboys have been receiving. I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad #90 will not “go gentle into that good night“.

Do you think DeMarcus Lawrence’s frustration is justified?

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Advertisement
Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending